Project Evaluation, Post-Earthquake Health Promotion (PEHP) project - American Red Cross, Haiti

Closing date:  30 Nov 2011

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The earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12 , 2010 killed an estimated 217,300 people and displaced more than 2.1 million people. Of those that were displaced, more than 1.5 million people were displaced to more than 1555 camps/informal settlements (source: UNOCHA, August 2011).

The crowded camp conditions, along with lack of basic health and water and sanitation infrastructure left the camp residients vulnerable to a variety of health risks, particularly disease outbreaks.

The camp conditions, were exacerbated by the fact that the health status of the Haitian population was poor prior to the earthquake. Before the earthquake, 47% of the population did not have access to basic health care and more than half had no access to drinking water. There was no municipal sewage system or water system in the country. The life expectancy was low at just 59 for males and 63 for females, and more than half of the population lived below the extreme poverty line of US$1 a day.

As part of its disaster response efforts, the American Red Cross (ARC) began an emergency health promotion project, (known as the Post-Earthquake Health Promotion Project, or PEHP) to address health concerns specifically related to living in IDP camps. The goal of the project is to reduce and/or mitigate the incidence of disease and gender based violence (GBV) through managing immediate health risks while increasing community capacity and resilience in the aftermath of disasters. The project provides health promotion in 3 key areas: malaria, diarrheal illness (including cholera), and HIV/STIs. The estimated target population is 190,000 camp residents living in 100 camps. The period of implementation is from May 2010-Nov. 2011.

While the project was designed before the cholera outbreak in Oct. 2010, the project played a key role in responding to the initial and subsequent cholera outbreak. Immediately following the initial outbreak, an additional 100 hygiene promoters were recruited to work in the camps along with the 100 initial PEHP promoters. Additional supervisory staff were hired to oversee the work of these additional promotors. All were trained in cholera specific hygiene promotion, prevention and treatment messaging. In addition, cholera related commodities, including soap, aquatabs, ORS and jerry cans were obtained and a package of these items were distributed tent to tent during the hygiene promotion. As the first wave of the epidemic came under control, the new promoters were cross-trained in all pre-cholera PEHP interventions.

An evaluation is necessary to determine the relevance, effectiveness, and coverage of the project, as well as the the intended and unintended changes that occurred as a result of the interventions given the evolving humitarian context throughout the project period.

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